by Muthoni Kimani
February 1, 2021
Have you crossed paths with Richard Mbuthia? This is one of the names emerging in the field of contemporary Kenyan literature. He's a member of the Creative Writers Association of Kenya; he is a fast-rising poet and a literature teacher for many years standing.
Some of his works include; The Setting Noon and Other Poems (2017) , two anthologies of children's poetry, titled, Bounding for Light (2018) and A Spark in the Dark (2019).
Richard produced the two anthologies with his pupils, whom he nourishes to appreciate creative writing and literature early enough. He is a believer in exposing the young to literature to plant lifelong reading habits in them.
This talented poet is currently representing Kenya in an international competition geared towards an award on literary arts organised by the Mulher Forte African Literature Foundation. Richard explains creative writing as a catharsis to his spirit;
"I release bursts of emotion, helping me declutter my soul. It helps me fit into many shoes and lifeforms and redirect events (in my imagination), working up a feeling of being in total control of issues.
On the other hand, writing for journalism is sort of straitjacketed. It fits into a mould that determines how the piece of writing should turn out. This is very different from creative writing." He went on and explained the role of the creative writer in this time of the global pandemic?
"A creative writer is very important in this time of the pandemic. Such a writer speaks to the tattered spirits of the readers and mollifies the psychological effects of the pandemic. Different genres can be used to explore varied facets of the pandemic and help in the propagation of information on the same in a more entertaining way."
Having edited an anthology of children's poetry, he narrates his aim and challenges in the project; "So far, since 2017, I have compiled and edited four children's poetry anthologies. My aim has always been to arrest the sparks of poetic expression that emanate from the recesses of the children's hearts. That desire has enjoyed its fair share of challenges and success.
It has not been easy to tap the children's poetic talent to determine who poetry comes naturally and those who have no interest. I have self-published all these anthologies. The costs of effecting this have not been easy on my pocket.
All The Best Richard As You Compete For The International Award!